Lotus Petal Charitable Foundation

Getting out-of-school under-privileged adolescents ready for livelihood in 5 years

Equal opportunity in education

We enable out-of-school urban-poor adolescents otherwise the dormant demographic dividend to enter education based formal sector livelihoods at twice the national per capita income.

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Lead Organization

Lotus Petal Charitable Foundation

Gurgaon, State of Haryana, India


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Project Summary

Under-privileged adolescents in India are trapped in poverty due to sub-standard public education and poor skill development– as evident from high school-dropout and early entry into unskilled labor. Further, poverty results in adolescent malnutrition leading to under-developed cognitive abilities and poor academic performance. The Pratisthan program breaks this vicious cycle by intervening during formative years (9-16 age bracket) by imparting customized and age-appropriate curriculum that accelerates learning for different ages as well as providing nutritious daily meals and regular health check upsStudents are also trained in essential life skills that are otherwise not part of public education in India. This program will be scaled up to 40 additional centers, . wherein this intervention will run for 5-6 years per adolescent, culminating in 120,000 young adults with skills and confidence to pursue higher education and/or enter the skilled workforce, 1.2 million Government school beneficiaries and 1.5 million beneficiaries through open access.

Problem Statement

Out of school children in India are estimated to be between 40 and 84 million. Key reasons include taking up jobs at an early age and/or participating in household work; resulting near total illiteracy with almost no scope entering skilled workforce. These adolescents are forever trapped in the cycle of poverty and much like their parents, are stuck in low wage unskilled jobs. The problem specifically affects adolescents from urban slums, typically children of migrant labor;. a vulnerable segment of population which suffers from this vicious cycle of poverty for generations. Moreover, India’s government schools struggle with lack of resources, sub-optimal teaching standards, and poor infrastructure. Further, poor nutrition among these adolescents hampers their cognitive abilities and academic performance.A unique and holistic approach that ensures proper schooling of such under-privileged adolescents and their nutrition and healthcare is required to address the problem. Additionally, imparting employability skills and social confidence is critical to sustain the impact so that the adolescents can access higher education and/or skill based employment. This approach must cater specifically to urban slums in India which are hubs of out-of-school adolescents on the verge of entering the labor force. A multi-faceted innovation, which converges accelerated and customized learning curricula and improved adolescent nutrition with development of life skills, can help them access formal sector livelihoods. The innovation must focus on directly enrolling cohorts of out-of-school adolescents from urban slums, provide open access learning through the internet to their peers, and reach out as support to existing government

Solution Overview

Pratisthan’ program, imparts skill-based education and fast tracks learning of middle and high school curricula. The program ensures quality with private school level infrastructure, teacher recruitment through entrance test and induction, daily lesson planning, student capability assessment and career counselling, and vocational training embedded in government regulated syllabus. It also addresses the market demand for soft skills through personality and confidence building activities. The scale-up solution will adopt a hub and spoke model where 40 LPF run schools, one per city, will be will be hub to about 100 surrounding government run schools, each. Each hub will be run under direct administrative control of LPF to maintain standards of teaching quality, learning outcomes, nutrition and medical checkups, and financial adherence, to inform us of ongoing progress. Classroom teaching will be packaged digitally with the surrounding government schools for both teachers and students, as learning aids. Uptake, usage and customization by government schools will be progress indicators. Classroom teaching will also be published online and made available for public use by teachers, students and parents. In LPF run schools, about 30% of all students will become peer to peer learning champions and motivate their community peers to learn from online content. Digital media metrics, as well as peer uptake and retention of the online content will inform us of the progress. We expect 120,00 direct beneficiaries in LPF run schools, at least 1.2 mn beneficiary students in government run schools, and about 1.2 mn beneficiary children through peer to peer learning.

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Project Funders

  • United Way 2017 - 2019
  • Fidelity Investments Limited India 2016 - 2019
  • Action for Support of Deprived Children, Geneva, Switzerland 2017 - 2019

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